Bizarre Scenes in Suriname as Country’s Vice-President Captains Team in CONCACAF League

The first set of matches of the 2021 CONCACAF League round of 16 was held on Tuesday, with Inter Moengotapoe of Suriname hosting Olimpia of Honduras at the Franklin Essed Stadium in Paramaibo. Moengotapoe lost their round of 16 first leg 6-0, something that’s not quite surprising considering the gulf of quality between them and Olimpia, however the match came into the attention of worldwide audiences once they found out that the 60-year old vice-president of Suriname, Ronnie Brunswijk, is captaining Moengotapoe in that match.

VP Ronnie’s involvement with Moengotapoe doesn’t stop in captaining his team for continental matches alone. Ronnie is also the owner of the 10-time Surinamese champions, while his son Damian is a striker for the club. And in an even more ludicrous move, Ronnie named Moengotapoe’s stadium after himself, the Ronnie Brunswijkstadion.

A former rebel leader, Ronnie was appointed into the position of Suriname’s vice-president in July of 2020, having been a prominent figure in Suriname politics since 1992. Prior to that he had fought for the Suriname Liberation Army in 1985, fighting for the rights of people of African descent within the country, before being involved in the Suriname Interior War between his faction and the Suriname government from 1986 to 1992.

In 2005 Ronnie was suspended after allegedly threatening an opposing player with a gun, however the suspension was lifted due to lack of evidence. Ronnie was then suspended again in 2012 for verbally abusing a referee, with his appearance on Tuesday being his first one since that suspension.

Ronnie played 54 minutes of that one-sided curbstomp battle, with the VP being substituted out in the second half for his son Damian with Olimpia leading 3-0 at that point. The Hondurans added three more goals afterwards, earning themselves a healthy cushion ahead of the second leg which will be held on September 28th.

Ronnie, who completed 14 of his 17 passes in the match, was then seen after the match giving away $100 notes to the Olimpia players in the opposition changing room and even earning himself the shirt of his team’s conquerors.

Unfortunately as Ronnie is being wanted by the Interpol for drug trafficking charges – which he was found guilty in absentia all the way back in 1999 – he won’t be able to turn out for Moengotapoe in the second leg at Tegucigalpa, Honduras.